Facebook: Where friends could mean stress

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More parents becoming social media savvy

It is fun to have a large group of friends on social network sites such as Facebook. However, more online social circles also mean that social media becomes a larger source of stress, according to a new study.

According to research conducted by the University of Edinburgh Business School, when a person has more Facebook friends, there is also greater chance that he or she might offend someone, especially if parents and employers are included in the social circle.

Users with coworkers or parents on their friends list are usually more careful about how they behave online. However, stress still arises when a user reveals a behaviour that is unacceptable to some online friends such as smoking, drinking or recklessness.

Ben Marder, who authored the report, said Facebook was once comparable to a fun party where you and all of your friends could drink the night away or dance non-stop. But now that your parents and boss are there, it has become a more stressful activity replete with potential social landmines.

If your online social circle includes your spouse, parents, relatives and employers, your social media experience will become more stressful because of people’s expectations, explained Marder.

Aside from that, the research also found that about 55 per cent of parents scrutinise their children’s online activities, while more than 50 per cent of employers have revealed that they did not hire an applicant because of his or her Facebook page.

The study, which polled over 300 people on Facebook, also affirmed previous research from the Edinburgh Napier University, which also found that a greater number of Facebook friends leads to more stress.